Page images

might say that he was not preaching evan- could never congelically. He knew better, and in due time ceal the want he had his reward.

of matter by a Arnot was altogether unconventional. He thin veil of commonplace. His illustrations, had his own way of doing things, and if he was too, were sure to be original.

To young satisfied that it was adapted to the end it minds his freshness was always an attraction. mattered little to him whether or not it had His power of interesting and attracting young the stamp of conventional usage. If any- men was one of the chief features of his thing, he was perhaps too unconventional. ministry, especially in Glasgow; and this was There is a certain power in old modes of due partly to his independence and originality, speech, in liturgical solemnities, in finished and partly to the special knowledge he had forms of language, which he did not appre of the feelings and aspirations of the better ciate, and the want of which on certain occa- class of young men, derived directly from his sions diminished his attractiveness to some. own experience. He knew well what a young But on the other hand, his unconventionality man feels, especially one working his way up was with most an element of popularity. He in the world. He was singularly in his ele

ment in his Glasgow charge, surrounded by present writer remembers well how much he young men whose circumstances were similar was struck by his worn and haggard look to what had once been his own. When he and unelastic step, as he saw him walk removed to Edinburgh he came into a different heavily along the street, about a fortnight stratum. It did not furnish the same pro- before the end. Yet it was hard to suppose portion of youths working their way upwards. that that end was so near. It came suddenly Esteemed and loved he could not fail to be, on the morning of the 3rd of June, 1875. He yet he might have had a wider influence with had been awake at three in the morning, and, young men in such a community as Liverpool, with his ear alive as of old to the voices of Manchester, or London.

nature, had marked the warbling of the birds, For America he had a very special love. and said, “Those sweet birds, they are singWhen he returned from his last visit to the ing for me.” Two hours later a fit of United States he was so loud in his praise of coughing seized him; blood flowed from his everything American as almost to seem to mouth; he sank back on his pillow as if in disparage the institutions of his own country. a swoon; and his spirit passed away to its But this sprang from his conviction that unseen home. scant justice had been done to the States, With every great bereavement which the and his anxiety to rectify the balance made Church on earth sustains it becomes richer in him appear to throw too much into the memories and stimulating examples. The American scale.

death of Arnot left us sensibly poorer in the Arnot may be said to have died in harness. one sense, and richer in the other. The There is something pathetic in the record of familiar face and form of a man greatly bethe end of his life. Struggling against the loved remained no more among us; but a rapid decay of his strength, he succumbed new lesson came to us, and comes to all, to the more rapidly at the end. He was at be followers of them who through faith and work a very short time before he died. The patience inherit the promises.


By MRS, W. E. GLADSTONE. THIS paper on cottage nursing has already are methods of training professional nurses,

been read at the Birmingham Congress, but why are not the elementary principles of and I feel so deeply the importance of the nursing added to the subjects already taught subject and the special interest it has for in schools, so that they may become part of those who labour for our Lord, that I venture the regular instruction of young girls? How to lay it before the readers of the SUNDAY often is the little daughter or friend of ten or MAGAZINE. It seems to me peculiarly a twelve years old the only attendant the poor Christian work, this work of soothing and father or mother can have in case of sudden softening the sufferings of our brothers and illness, and how much can even a mere child sisters, a realisation of the message "good- do who has learnt to think and observe, and will to men.” Though it may not be so to understand a few easy rules about a sick attractive to the world as some other do- room! Men of experience and great physimestic questions, it is not less likely to be a cians have advised the matter being taken real benefit to our suffering fellow creatures. in hand—why is it so utterly neglected ?

1. The blessing of education is, happily, 2. The reasons are only too plain more and more considered, and we are First. The very ignorance which exists all learning to value sound elementary about illness stifles all desire to learn what teaching in our national schools. Why, can be done and blinds the poor to the then, is such gross ignorance upon matters crying necessity of the case. of health allowed to prevail among the poor? Secondly. People do not know the exA cry night well be raised, as we visit ceeding interest as well as usefulness of really cottage after cottage in times of sickness, and intelligent nursing, a work they might love if find the most simple sanitary facts of sick once they understood it. It is true that the nursing unknown, without teaching or method, beautiful gift of nursing does exist naturally and often without thought. It is true there in some, but, even in cases where the natural

“turn" for it is strong it needs guiding and sible at the top, so as to gain fresh air and development.

avoid a draught. We can see how in these 3. Whilst waiting and hoping for some little ways a child can practise presence of scheme that shall bring about such a develop- mind, and gain that confidence which in ment, I venture in this short paper to try itself soothes and comforts the patient. and spur, if I may so express it, in the right 6. Let us go a little further, and try and direction, my readers, members of School show how that confidence and simple wisdom Boards, teachers throughout the country, and can be practised. I only give in this paper a the Education Department in particular. I few simple facts which can be found elsewhere attempt to show that something can be done far better expressed and drawn out at length. to save time and even life before a more 7. As to Fresh Air and Ventilation.Venperfect plan can be organized. Life is so tilation is absolutely necessary for the preserholy a thing, shall we not see and think how vation of health, because the very air we to preserve it best? Cottage-nursing being breathe purifies the blood and supports life. my special point, I go at once to the subject. If this be so important in health, what must Now as I have said before, a mere child it be in sickness, when the blood is dismay be so taught to nurse as to give her ordered? Let the little nurse then be taught what is really a high and holy aim. She may to look about and see how best to procure learn thoughtful, cleanly, gentle, sensible pure air. If the room is so small and inways, and thus become a treasure in her convenient that it is impossible to keep the home at a time of sickness.

window constantly open without exposing 4. Let me draw a little picture of the the patient to draughts, the next best thing cottage where ignorance prevails. The is to change the air from time to time by heavy hand of sickness has been laid on the opening the window for a few minutes. It dwelling--the mother is laid low. What is easy, when airing the room, to cover up happens ? Poor little Polly has leave to the patient for two or three minutes to avoid stay away from school. She does her best. chills. Bad air is poisoned air to the lungs. She knows nothing about the poison of bad The air we breathe should, if possible, be as air, or of fresh air which is all-important. Her pure as the external air, and that need not one object is warmth, and warmth too often mean cold air. The mischief which bad air means foul air. She draws the bed-curtains causes is not always felt at once, just as there close, stuffs up the chimney, and shuts every are slow poisons which do not at once diswindow and door. Neighbours assemble cover themselves, but, sooner or later, the round the sick bed talking, gossiping, wonder- poison does its work. Do not allow unneing, almost killing with well-intended kindness, cessary people to go in or out or to stay in and all helping to exhaust the air and disturb the room ; each person consumes so much the patient, fuss prevails, and every one has air, just as candles and especially gas will a piece of ignorant advice to give; but where do, and the usually small space in a cottage is common sense and presence of mind ? calls for special thought on this matter.

5. Let us now look at another picture, 8. Light.-The light of heaven is good in and see the contrast. Here we have little an invalid's room; when the body is sick Jenny, no older than Polly, but Jenny has and the whole heart is faint, warm and cheerhad a few sensible rules put into her head. ful rays should enter a sick room. It is She has learnt that four good things are first always easy, when the eyes are weak or the of all to be secured in a sick rocm, namely, head aches, to arrange a little blind as a temfresh air, cleanliness, quiet, and comfort; porary guard, and the patient's own wishes these Jenny can see to before a doctor arrives. should be consulted, but sunshine brings joy Before helping her mother to bed, she thinks and gladness, and is in itself life-giving. of what is needed to make the bed tidy and 9. The bed. -As to mattresses and bedding, comfortable. Whatever is likely to be feather beds are unwholesome from the exwanted she puts neatly upon a table, which cessive heat they produce, and the difficulty is cleared of other matters, so that medicine, of thoroughly airing and purifying them. a feeding cup, clean glasses, spoons, &c., are Curtains drawn round make the bed into a always at hand. If there is, as we must hope, trap for foul air ; none should be allowed, a chimney in the room, she takes care that excepting, perhaps, at the bed-head. nothing may block it up, no stuffing of 10. Cleanliness.- Keep the sick room boards or paper to exclude air; she knows scrupulously clean, the less carpet the better; the chimney will carry off the impure air, she give attention to the floor under the bed manages to have some window open, if pos- and in corners; do not allow any one but the

patient to eat meals there. Do not conceal perspiration, which often removes chills and utensils under the bed or elsewhere ; a lid is carries off the cold which has come from useful, but nothing unpleasant should be left checking the action of the skin. Examine for any time in the sick-room, and all articles feet and hands, to judge of the circulation, used should be very carefully rinsed afterwards. and to guard against effects of vital heat

11. Cookery.- We might naturally now diminishing ; hot bottles or hot flannels help turn to the subject of cookery, but so large to restore heat to the body. In the early a subject cannot be treated of here ; suffice it morning exhaustion is more likely to come to say, that food for a sick person should be on, as the vital power is lower. of a finer kind than for a person in health. 15. Upon all the last-enumerated matters, A defect in cookery will speak for itself, however, which manifestly demand the more while judicious good cooking will save the mature powers, the little nurse at home digestion half its work. Thus we trust our should learn to be guided entirely by the young friends will lose no opportunity of doctor's directions. studying this branch of cooking. Proper 16. Pages might be written, but I have diet is of greater consequence than medicine. not attempted to do more than suggest small

12. Quiet and Watchfulness.—I will now measures and very humble beginnings in the add a few hints which I have myself found loving work of tending the sick. Only let useful to bear in mind in a sick-room. One us not go on in ignorance and apathy, conof the first lessons is to be quiet, calm, and tent to see the poor and those we love cheerful. Avoid giving unnecessary trouble suffering from illness, and lacking the help by talking or fidgeting. Sit by the invalid that their own children might learn to afford. and watch with all your might. You will by In this very elementary paper, I urge a step observation soon learn his wishes, and this being taken to teach the young, so as to put very watchfulness it is which gives experience. people upon the right road. Let no one be It will often be more valuable than rules, discouraged; it is true the work in itself is though these should by no means be disre- of a very delicate nature, needing much garded. Observation will, for instance, patience, but then it should be a labour of better than any rule, teach us how to regu- love. God's precious gift of life is often late the patient's food. It is a very common literally placed in our hands." This has error to think that a person may die because been strikingly said. Shall we not persevere, he takes little or no food. Now in this then ? Simple lessons of thoughtfulness and matter nature is often speaking and doing care and constant watching will sow seeds the restorative work in the best way by bid that will bring forth much fruit; and how ding the stomach rest; but on the other hand great will be the blessing if from these small there are cases when it is needful to give beginnings villages should come to possess food in small quantities often, even every nurses of the spirit of Florence Nightingale! hour or half-hour. A nurse must learn 17. Even in the infant school the children when to turn to the doctor to help her judg- might be asked simple questions upon the inent in these important points, but she health of their parents and themselves, and must strive to improve her own judgment by gradually be led to think on the subject. ceaseless watchfulness. Save your patient In the classes for older children, both boys anxiety, waiting, fear of surprise, emotion; and girls, the questions might be continued ; lead him gently but firmly, without driving. and I hope to see prepared a small manual Again, manage thoughtfully about leaving him. on health, which shall be the means of sugTell him when you will return; keep to your gesting, rather than presenting, actual questime; uncertainty is trying to all patients. tions to teachers. I am not in favour of

13. Sleep.-A nurse must also learn the teaching by questions and answers, which great blessing of sleep in illness, that beauti- generates too much rote knowledge, and ful provision of nature, often to be encou- saves the mental labour of the teacher at the raged even to the neglect of the stated hour cost of the child. for food or medicine. Sleep is all-important 18. Let us conclude with the most importin bringing respite from pain or weakness, ant thought of all, which should underlie all and in refreshing the exhausted powers. our efforts—the thought of the wonder and

14. State of the Skin and the Circulation.- beauty of our Creator's work in these frail Much good often may be done by attention bodies of ours, and how much love and care to the state of the patient's skin. A warm we should bestow upon the frames He has bath, or a hot drink at bed-time, encourages so loved and cared for.



An Autumn Meditation. SEARE EARED leaves ! At first these words profusion, decking the green sward with little

seem to have a mournful sound, sug- bright bits of colouring-gold, red, emerald, gestive of blight and decay—of the close of russet, brown-as the sun's rays glance on life rather than of its free joyous course ; and them and light them up. Resting on their we are apt, unreasoningly, to think of life as soft mossy bed, or hanging tremblingly on the fairer than death, and to connect with the boughs from which they are ready to drop, latter only gloomy associations, as if the how radiant they look! many of them in one alone were to be desired and the other their flaming scarlet or party-coloured garb, dreaded as an unmitigated evil-a thing dark such as the chestnut, for instance, with its and stern and forbidding, instead of the portal edge of brownish red dashed with gold, which to a higher life.

blends with and fades into pale green towards What does Nature teach us on the subject? the centre. More beautiful this than when Surely she sympathizes with our sorrowful all was one monotonous dusty green; and lingering over the word “farewell,” but for- yet the very presence of this new unwonted bids any tendency to dark, despairing regret. beauty testifies that the end is coming on Does she not make the end generally more apace; the very perfection of the work which beautiful than the beginning ? Does she not Time has wrought with his mellowing touch bring forth all her richest treasures at the last shows that his task is nearly completed—the hour; not in the full flush of life, but at its close is near-death draws nigh. A slight close ? For who will say that the sunset gale, nay, even a gentle breeze-nothing more glory is not a more tenderly beautiful thing is needed—and the already nearly severed than the glory of the meridian blaze—the leaves are parted from the parent stem, and quiet glow of autumn with its gorgeous dyes fall down silently, noiselessly, unresistingly, and varied tints more lovely than the vivid upon the silent earth beneath. There they uniform green of midsummer ? Ay, even the lie, for awhile still beautiful, especially when seared leaf, as it changes colour and blushes the warm sun comes to burnish their patches into rosy red or fades into pale gold before of gold, and deepen their red into crimson, the final parting from the twig, dons a beauty their yellow into orange. of which it couid scarcely boast even in its After a time they are brushed away by the budding youth, when it first burst from its gardener, or are drifted and scattered by the sheath and unfolded its soft emerald tissue. wind, or trodden under foot of the passer-by,

Yes, there is beauty even in “seared leaves,” and so are buried and forgotten. But their as they lie on the smooth velvet turf or shining work is not yet done. All spring, and summer, gravel path like gems scattered around in and autumn they have fulfilled their mission

« PreviousContinue »